Monday, 30 September 2013

Hands-On With The A. Lange & Söhne Grand Complication - The Most Complicated Lange Wristwatch Ever (With Live Photos, Video And Price)

Earlier this year A. Lange & Söhne announced the Grand Complication. Featuring a grand and petite sonnerie, split-seconds chronograph with lightning seconds, and perpetual calendar, the monumental Grand Complication lives up to its name.

Though much has been written about the Lange Grand Complication launched at SIHH 2013 (where Lange also presented its smaller brother, the 1815 Rattrapante Perpetual Calendar), little of it has been seen aside from stock images. That's because at SIHH Lange only presented the Grand Complication privately to a handful of people, and no photos were allowed. 

But we have managed to get some special, intimate time with the completed and decorated Grand Complication prototype, with none other than Anthony de Haas as our guide, at the recently concluded Watches&Wonders in Hong Kong.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Teaser for the FP Journe 30th anniversary wristwatch

FP Journe will mark the 30th anniversary of his first timepiece on October 18 with a special watch, part of which has been revealed in this tantalising teaser.

FP Journe completed his first timepiece, a pocket watch with tourbillon and remontoir, in 1983.

The teaser for his 30th anniversary wristwatch depicts what is obviously a rose gold watch, with a white dial in what might be enamel. Both the hour and minute dials are off-centre, and are fitted with blued steel Breguet hands. And there appear to be some detail at both four and eight o'clock on the dial. A small button sits on the case at four o'clock, below the crown. 

All will be revealed on October 18, 2013.


Thursday, 26 September 2013

Presenting the thinnest minute repeater of all, the Vacheron Constantin Patrimony Contemporaine Ultra-Thin Calibre 1731 (with specs and price)

Vacheron Constantin has just announced the thinnest minute repeater in the world at Watches&Wonders in Hong Kong. The manually-wound Patrimony Contemporaine Ultra-Thin Calibre 1731, equipped with its brand new, in-house movement, is just 8.09 mm high.

Long rumoured and now known to have been in development since 2009, the new cal. 1731 minute repeater movement inside the Patrimony Contemporaine Ultra-Thin Calibre 1731 succeeds the the cal. 1755 repeater movement unveiled in 1992. At the time Vacheron Constantin was one of the few brands to boast an in-house repeater, and the new cal. 1731 is a worthy replacement.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Introducing two special Lange watches: the Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Handwerkskunst and the Saxonia Outsized Date limited edition

At the opening of Watches&Wonders, Lange introduces two limited editions, the magnificent Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Handwerkskunst as well as the Saxonia Outsized Date.

Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Handwerkskunst

Lange has just unveiled two new models at Watches&Wonders, dubbed Asia's mini-SIHH, which just opened today in Hong Kong. The highlight is the Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar Handwerkskunst.

Using the Lange 1 Tourbillon Perpetual Calendar as the base, the Handwerkskunst edition has the additional, elaborate detail characteristic of the Handwerkskunst series, like last year's Zeitwerk Handwerkskunst for instance.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Hands-on with the Rebellion T-1000 Gotham - Batman-inspired with a 41 day power reserve (with live photos and price)

Rebellion presented the T-1000 Gotham at Baselworld 2013. Taking some of its design cues from the Christopher Nolan Batman films, the watch boasts a 1000 hour, or 41 day, power reserve.

Designed by the prolific Eric Giroud, the Rebellion T-1000 Gotham gets its name from its design inspiration, the armoured Batmobile known as the Tumbler featured in Christopher Nolan's trilogy of Batman films. The result is an brilliant watch, both visually and mechanically.

Inside is the REB T-1000 movement, originally developed by Laurent Besse (who was also responsible for the MB&F HM4 but now works for Corum after his firm went bust). This remarkable calibre has a 1000 hour power reserve, thanks to six barrels linked by tiny chains, and an inclined, double hairspring balance wheel.

Monday, 23 September 2013

Hands-on with the thinnest tourbillon in the world, the Arnold & Son UTTE (with live photos and price)

At Baselworld this year, Arnold & Son claimed the title of the world's thinnest tourbillon with its new UTTE, boasting a movement just 2.97 mm high.

Despite looking like yet another pedestrian flying tourbillon, the Arnold & Son UTTE (short for "ultra-thin tourbillon escapement") is noteworthy. Its case stands 8.34 mm high, and the movement inside, the cal. A&S8200 developed by its sister company La Joux-Perret, is only 2.97 mm.

Omega looks to 1915 wristwatch for the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics limited edition (with specs and price)

Created to mark the upcoming Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, the Omega Sochi Petrograd is a remake of a 1915 tonneau wristwatch.

Based on a 1915 wristwatch made for a Russian client which is now in the Omega museum, the Sochi Petrograd limited edition has a yellow gold, tonneau-shaped case. 

Along with the large Arabic numerals and wire lugs, the style of the watch recalls the timepieces popular in early twentieth century, pre-revolutionary Russia. 

Friday, 20 September 2013

Introducing the Speake-Marin Spirit Mk II DLC (with specs and price)

Speake-Marin's Spirit Mk II is now available with a DLC coated case, expanding the brand's entry level offering of military-inspired timepieces.

Originally only available with a steel case (though a handful in rose gold were made), the Spirit Mk II now has the option of a diamond-like carbon (DLC) coated steel case. 

Design and specs are identical to the original Spirit Mk II, but the DLC version looks and feels more military, with the raised Luminova numerals made even more striking against the dark case.

Unveiling the Experiment ZR012 Black by C3H5N3O9, a collaboration between MB&F and Urwerk

C3H5N3O9, otherwise known as nitroglycerin, a joint venture of MB&F and Urwerk, has just presented their second watch, the Experiment ZR012 Black.

Last year MB&F and Urwerk took the covers off the ZR012, made under the label C3H5N3O9, which is the chemical formula for nitroglycerin. The watch was the result of MB&F taking care of the aesthetics (specifically, Eric Giroud penned the design) and Urwerk the movement. This year sees the launch of the second installment in the series, the ZR012 in black PVD coated zirconium.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Unique Patek Philippe grand complications with ruby-set dials headline Christie's first sale in China

For its inaugural sale on Mainland China on 26 September, Christie's has assembled a small but significant and entirely unique range of wristwatches, including a quartet of special Patek Philippe grand complications, and amongst them one-of-a-kind versions of the ref. 3939 as well as ref. 5016.

Unique Patek Philippe ref. 3974R

A few months ago Christie's became the first Western auction house to secure the license to operate independently on the Chinese mainland. Its first auction in China will take place in Shanghai next week, with a mixture of paintings, wine and watches. A dozen watches will go under the hammer, including several unique Patek Philippes and a rare Cartier Crash with a burgundy dial.

Though the Patek watches on offer include enamelled pocket watches and a cloisonne dial ref. 2481, the highlight of the sale is undoubtedly the four grand complications - comprising the refs. 3939, 3974, 5004 and 5016 - with matching, ruby-set silver dials and pink gold cases, presumably from the same owner.

Up Close With The Roger Dubuis Excalibur 42 Skeleton Flying Tourbillon (With Photos, Specs And Pricing)

Roger Dubuis's Excalibur Skeleton Tourbillon was presented for the first time in a 42 mm case at SIHH 2013. Retaining the same movement and styling, the watch is nonetheless radically different from its bigger brother.

In recent years Roger Dubuis watches were generally large and shiny. The ostentatious styling tended to overshadow the finer horological merits of the timepieces. Roger Dubuis is now reversing course.

Earlier this year it unveiled the Excalibur 42 Skeleton Flying Tourbillon, a slimmer and smaller version of its signature timepiece. Now in a 42 mm case - it was previously 45 mm - the watch is decidedly more graceful and refined.

Saturday, 14 September 2013

Unveiling the Romain Jerome Sailor's Grave - tattooed by Mo Coppoletta

Designed by noted tattoo artist Mo Coppoletta, the Romain Jerome Tattoo-DNA Sailor's Grave is inspired by the sailor's tattoo commemorating lost ships.

Tattoos have long been a part of sailing, with each motif conveying a particular meaning. Created in collaboration with British tattoo artist and watch collector Mo Coppoletta, the first of the new Romain Jerome Tattoo-DNA line is the Sailor's Grave, inspired by the tattoo of the same name.

The Lange Grand Complication explained by Anthony de Haas, the brand's movement development chief

Lange's Director of Product Development, Anthony de Haas, talks about the Grand Complication, the most complicated wristwatch ever made by the brand.

Announced but not publicly shown at SIHH 2013, the watch has a grand and petite sonnerie, minute repeater, a chronograph with rattrapante as well as lightning seconds and a perpetual calendar. It measures 50 mm - making it a pocket watch on a strap for all intents and purposes - and costs over €1.9 million. 

Lange recently released a short interview with Anthony de Haas, the Dutchman who heads the brand's movement development. In this interesting, enlightening as well as a tiny bit hyperbolic at times, piece, de Haas explains the background of the Lange Grand Complication.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Introducing the Hermès Cape Cod Rocabar with incredible enamel dials by Anita Porchet (with live photos and pricing)

Hermès commission Anita Porchet to create a series of enamel dials inspired by a silk scarf, resulting in the Cape Cod Rocabar quartet. Executed in cloisonné and paillonné enamel, each dial is exquisitely made.

For the most recent edition of its métiers d'art timepieces, the Cape Cod Rocabar, Hermès turned to none other than Anita Porchet, one of the most accomplished enamellists in Switzerland. Her work here draws on the motif from the Hermès "rocabar" scarf, which depicts stylised horses on a geometric background.

Monday, 9 September 2013

In-depth, on-the-wrist review of the Tudor Heritage Chrono Blue (with live photos)

Thanks to our friends at Watchonista and Tudor Switzerland, we got the new Heritage Chrono Blue for a week. Here's what we thought of Tudor's Baselworld 2013 star.

Tudor scored a big hit with the first Heritage chronograph of 2010. This year Tudor has added a new orange and blue version to the line-up.

While the earlier Heritage Chronograph was modelled on the ref. 7031 of the seventies, nicknamed the “Home plate” for the shape of its indices, the Heritage Chrono Blue is inspired by the later ref. 7169 of 1973.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Hands-on with the Konstantin Chaykin Cinema - a cinema on your wrist, made in Russia (with live photos and price)

At Baselworld 2013, Russian independent watchmaker Konstantin Chaykin unveiled the world's first wristwatch with a built-in zoopraxiscope, a type of motion picture projector.

Konstantin Chaykin, the Moscow-based independent who best known work is the extraterrestrial Lunokhod, presented the Cinema wristwatch at Baselworld earlier this year. 

Inspired by the work of Eadweard Muybridge, the motion picture pioneer of the late nineteenth century, the Cinema watch has a zoopraxiscope built into the movement. 

Thursday, 5 September 2013

The Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève 2013 - announcing the jury, finalists as well as new categories and prizes

The jurors and finalists for the 2013 Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève have just been announced. And the contest now has additional categories as well as prizes.

The organisers of the Grand Prix d’Horlogerie de Genève (GPHG) recently released the composition of this year's jury, a 23 person panel which includes journalists, collectors, retailers, presided over by an auctioneer

Alongside the list of jurors, the "pre-selected watches", or finalists, were announced as well. It is the usual mix of independents, niche brands and some big boys. All of them are Swiss, or German; the Asian brands which were in the first round of voting did not make it to this final list.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Introducing The MB&F LM2, With Twin Escapements Inspired By Philippe Dufour (With Original Photos & Pricing)

Equipped with twin escapements linked by a differential, the MB&F Legacy Machine 2 is inspired by the work of Ferdinand Berthoud and Philippe Dufour, with Kari Voutilainen in movement design and finish, and Jean-François Mojon as constructor.

This is the second of the Legacy Machines, which as Maximilian Büsser puts it, are what his horological machines would have looked like if they were conceived in the nineteenth century, or in this case the eighteenth. The MB&F LM2 is the most impressive machine in terms of traditional watchmaking, namely finishing and complication.

Monday, 2 September 2013

Hands-on with the Harry Winston Opus XIII (with live photos and price)

Developed by Ludovic Ballouard, the Harry Winston Opus XIII is the ultimate jumping hour and minute display - jumping every minute and every hour.

Ludovic Ballouard's watches have always been about novel interpretations of the jumping hour, with the Upside Down for instance. The Opus XIII takes that philosophy to its extreme.

The Opus XIII has 59 minute hands, each of which sits at an angle of 40 degrees under the tinted sapphire ring around the dial, with each fifth minute tipped in red.